OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘California Republican Party’

The Munger Games Blog is Spot On Again!

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on May 26, 2014

The folks over at The Munger Games blog are once again spot on about Charles Munger trying to purchase a seat in the Assembly for candidate Anna Bryson.

I reported a few days ago about about Mr. Munger’s big buy into Ms. Bryson’s campaign with his dropping over $250,000 into his Spirit of Democracy IE PAC in support of her campaign for the 73rd Assembly District (Charles Munger Dipping…) and my fellow blogger Allan Wilson reported about the same thing happening in the 55nd Assembly District (Charles Munger and California Dental IE PAC) with his Dental IE PAC.

Now the Munger Games folks have noted that Mr. Munger has put in another $71,000 for pro-Bryson mailers over the last few days (Munger Money-Mongering).  As a resident of the 73rd Assembly District I can attest that I have been receiving multiple pro Anna Bryson mailers over the last few days – in fact they appear to be using the same mailers over and over again.  Some of these mailers come directly from her campaign and some from the Spirit of Democracy PAC (i.e. from Charles Munger).  All of them tout her conservative credentials even though such a claim is, in my opinion, false (Why Does the Teachers Union Love Anna Bryson).   Friends also tell me they have seen Anna Bryson commercials while watching TV.  It is apparent that Charles Munger wishes to buy this seat for Anna Bryson.

With this  much money being spent for her, in my opinion there is a definite expectation that if she wins she will be beholden to do as Mr. Munger demands for things like appointments of delegates to the California Republican Party and votes in the legislature for left of center positions on social issues, etc.  From her votes on the school board since late 2010 I conclude that she has already proven Anna Bryson will switch sides if she perceives it to be to her benefit.

Of all of the local activists in Orange County who put out voter recommendation lists, none of them to my knowledge have recommended that you vote for Anna Bryson.  Almost all of them recommend voting for Bill Brough as the true conservative in this race (Why I Support Bill Brough).

My thanks to The Munger Games folks for helping us keep track of Mr. Munger’s meddling in our Assembly race in South OC.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Capistrano Unified School District, Dana Point, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Vetting Donnelly

Posted by Walter Myers III on May 24, 2014

131106-Tim-Donnelly-4051Tim Donnelly is one of those figures who seems to draw intense reactions from either “side” of the current schism running within the Republican Party. That schism is roughly drawn along the “establishment”/moderate side of the party versus the conservative base/Tea Party. Inasmuch as the conservative base is “all in” for Donnelly, the establishment side is equally strident and dug in that Donnelly essentially is not fit to lead the Republican Party in California. On the conservative base side we hear the constant refrain that the establishment can’t win without the base, but the conservative base does not seem to recognize that the party can’t win without the establishment either. On the establishment side, there is such fear of losing and continuing to be a permanent minority in California that anything a Tea Party type candidate does that appears to upset minority groups brings out quite a bit of loathing, sometimes even to the point of pandering. Clearly, with such distrust amongst two sides that are supposed to be united to beat Democrats, the Republican Party has become one that eats its own, making it easier for Democrats to pick off candidates who have been already badly damaged by their own party. If this continues, the Party is pretty much done as we know it.

As it pertains to Donnelly, I am hard pressed to understand why there is so much handwringing over his candidacy for California governor. By all accounts Donnelly is honest, hardworking, and a strong conservative who brings a libertarian streak that is truly a breath of fresh air in the Republican Party, and has the potential to bring in young voters as well as Independents that have soured on the party. With respect to his position on illegal immigration, how can he be disqualified as a candidate for simply believing that we need to enforce existing laws on the books? In my own discussions with Donnelly, while he wasn’t prepared to become a proponent of the Lincoln Club immigration reform policy, he said that he was always open to different ideas on solving the problem. So I never saw him as a closed book on that issue. Yes, he has said some unartful things in the past, but who hasn’t? Tim is a man. I am a man. Reagan was a man. Men are imperfect and we should never expect perfection from men. And parties are even more imperfect vehicles because they’re made up of imperfect people. Just remember it was our beloved Reagan who gave us amnesty in 1986, which failed miserably and has us in a situation almost thirty years later where we have twelve million new illegal immigrants and a seemingly intractable problem for Republicans.

And then we have the situation where a Donnelly associate accused Donnelly’s opponent Neel Kashkari of supporting Sharia law due to welcoming remarks Kashkari gave in 2008 at a U.S. Treasury conference about Islamic finance. Does this event tie Kashkari to Sharia law? This, in my view, is a tendentious charge at best, but it certainly wasn’t racist which we know isn’t even a meaningful charge anymore because the term has become so cheap. As a “black” person, I truly do lament that as someone who actually suffered racism growing up in the south. To see white people throw this word around, particularly guilty white liberals and self-serving, opportunistic Republicans, is highly offensive to me and I am personally quite tired of people using the word when they hardly even know what it truly means. But anyway, what I want to argue here is what people like about Donnelly is that what you see is what you get. He is not poll tested, he doesn’t have consultants whispering in his ear, and he doesn’t have handlers. So he will probably make more mistakes than most politicians, but after almost six years of Obama lying to the American people on a regular basis, don’t we want to know what candidates really think instead of someone else telling them what to say which may not reflect the way they really feel on a given issue? I will take a real person over someone whose words are carefully groomed by a nameless, faceless consultant any day of the week.

Now given all I have discussed thus far, I do think that Donnelly needs to make some changes. He needs to begin reaching out beyond his base. He needs to tackle the nasty, gnarly third rail of politics, illegal immigration, and speak to the party about how he would handle this situation. But what is key is that he needs to learn different ways to communicate with different groups of people that don’t belie his conservative principles since Tim Donnelly without his conservatives principles is not the Tim Donnelly anyone should want. Leaders come and go, as Reagan did. And we don’t need another Reagan. What we need is a leader of our time who espouses the conservative principles that Reagan did but can communicate those principles in a manner that reaches into people’s hearts and minds. This past Friday I heard Dr. Ben Carson, who was standing in for Sean Hannity on his radio program, explain how we hear in precise medical vocabulary which is exceedingly complex. He did it in almost one breath and it was one of the most brilliant things I have ever heard. He is a brain surgeon, after all. But he was also on the liberal-leaning The View program with Whoopi Goldberg and crew this week talking about Obamacare and welfare. His simple words were so filled with grace, calm, and common sense that he had the cast mostly agreeing with him as well as the audience. That is the mark of a true communicator: one who can communicate well no matter the context. But we don’t necessarily need a brain surgeon to run California. We need a real person of character, conviction, and conservative principles that will make this once great state a beacon of hope and opportunity for all its citizens again. Can Donnelly be that man? I don’t know the answer, but let’s at least give him the chance to fail without making it a fait accompli due to the destruction we all too often visit on our very own.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Why Neel Kashkari is a Non-Starter for this Fiscal and Social Conservative

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 10, 2014

Another entrant into the California Governor’s race, Neel Kashkari, is right out of the play book of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman – a rich businessman who has never held elective office and is socially liberal but claims to be a fiscal conservative. Mr. Kashkari, while likely a very nice gentleman and a great private industry success story, is not a candidate this fiscal and social conservative can support.

When the former Bush administration official entered the California Governor’s race he proclaimed that his emphasis for the Governor’s race is the high poverty rate in California and improving education. The successful Republican businessman has taken a position in favor of abortion and homosexual marriage. One of the chief creators and implementers of the Bush Administration’s Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP), he defends that program because he claims the government was repaid all of the loaned funds plus interest. In my opinion, on TARP, Mr. Kashkari seriously misses the point of fiscal conservatives’ objections to that program, some of which I will cover below.

Undoubtedly other voices in the Republican Party will soon be lecturing conservatives like myself that social issues are losers for Republicans in California and we need a successful businessperson who is “socially liberal” to lead California and the CRP out of its woes.  With all due respect we have heard this tune before and it has only been a disaster for California and the Republican Party.  This same tune was played to us in 2003 for the recall of Gov. Gray Davis.  We were told Tom McClintock could not win the Governorship so we all must get behind successful showman Arnold Schwarzenegger.  While Arnold’s early years showed promise (repealing the car tax which he later raised again), right after he was re-elected in 2006 he took a hard turn to the left and gave us things like the carbon cap and trade laws that are crippling business in California.

He also joined then Attorney General Jerry Brown by refusing to defend Proposition 8, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow homosexual marriage in California not because the people voted for it, or due to the courts actually finding it was proper on the merits, but solely due to the Governor’s (and Attorney General’s) refusal to do their job and defend the law.  This has severely weakened the initiative system in California as it allows the Governor and Attorney General to veto the people’s voice by simply refusing to defend a federal constitutional challenge to an initiative that the people voted yes on.  I lay this partially at Mr. Schwarzenegger’s feet.

The next time we heard this piped piper tune of “we need to run a rich social liberal Republican” was Meg Whitman’s run for Governor against Jerry Brown four years ago. Although Ms. Whitman is a very nice person (I met her a couple of times) and she is a rich and successful Republican, she had never held elective office and she is pro-abortion.  Her views on homosexual marriage seem to be both yes and no.  It is my understanding that she also supported TARP.  Ms. Whitman was rejected by voters who were tired of years of pseudo Republican Arnold as Governor in favor of re-tread Jerry “Governor Moon Beam” Brown.

And here we are again with another candidate right out of the Arnold / Meg mold.  We are being told take our sincerely held beliefs on social issues (and even fiscal issues); ignore them and recent history to support and vote for Mr. Kashkari.

For this conservative activist my answer is No Thank You.  Obviously as you have gathered Mr. Kashkari and I differ on abortion and homosexual marriage.  And while I realize the Courts have instituted homosexual marriage in California by judicial fiat and abortion is regularly made more and more legal and taxpayer supported by the Democratic legislature (and current Governor) that does not equate to any obligation for me to support a candidate that also believes in these policies.  There is no reasonable expectation that a Governor Kashkari would act any differently than the Arnold or Moon Beam.

However Mr. Kashkari’s actions as a Bush Administration Treasury official and his defense of his role in the TARP program, in my opinion, place him in at least a very questionable category on fiscal issues.  The TARP program should be called the Bail Out Wall Street Big Bankers program.  It put the federal government in the corporate boardrooms as an owner – a place it should never be in in a free enterprise economic system.

In addition, the companies the TARP program bailed out were, for the most part, companies that made very bad business decisions and should have been allowed to fail.  Even with TARP bailouts, many, many employees of these companies (who did not make the bad decisions for their employers) lost their jobs anyway.  Finally these big banks now have cash in their coffers but they are generally not lending to small businesses who find capital still very difficult to come by almost six years after the 2008 crisis.  Regular consumers also are still having a harder time obtaining loans, etc.  In short TARP was great for Wall Street but not for Main Street where the rest of us live.  Many on the left also opposed TARP which could hurt Mr. Kashkari’s prospects with voters in June.

This is the bailout program Mr. Kashkari is so proud of and is his only governmental claim to fame.  To me this does not make him qualified for the Governor’s office.

In the June “top two” primary election, we will most likely be given the choice of Governor Jerry Brown, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Neel Kashkari and now Mayor Andrew Blount of Laguna Hills plus two or three more minor candidates.  Of course a late entry by another more established Republican candidate like Congressman Darrell Issa would up end the race – he has money, a very good track record, good name ID, etc.  But so far neither Mr. Issa nor any other well-known Republican has said they are even interested in entering the race.

Can Mr. Kashkari best Mr. Donnelly and now Andrew Blount in June to be one of the “top two” for the run off in November?  Yes he may do so.  But it is not “inevitable.”  First – voters in the “top two” primary vote for one of all the candidates – not for which Republican or Democrat they like.  Voters who like Jerry Brown over Tim Donnelly are going to vote for Jerry Brown not Mr. Kashkari.  That leaves voters who do not like Mr. Brown which will include most Republicans and many decline to state voters.  I will not predict how all Republicans will vote.  But I will predict that many fiscal and social conservative Republicans like me will choose Mr. Donnelly as more in line with their beliefs on public policy than Mr. Kashkari plus Mr. Donnelly’s experience at holding elected office.  I do not yet know enough about Mr. Blount (who describes himself as a Libertarian) to give any opinions about what voters will be attracted to him.  A lot will depend on how Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Kashkari and Mr. Blount conduct themselves on the campaign trial.

As for Decline to State voters – many are former Republicans who left the party for one reason or another.  For those who felt the party was too conservative – Mr. Kashkari might be their cup of tea.  But for those who felt the CRP was not consistent in presenting candidates and elected officials whose positions and decisions adhere to the Party’s own platform – it is illogical to think they would vote for Mr. Kashkari.   Some will vote for Tim Donnelly, some may vote for Andrew Blount and some may just skip that part of the ballot.

So I would say it is a toss up as to whether or not Mr. Kashkari will face Governor Brown in November.   But my vote in June will not be for Mr. Kashkari – that tune I have heard before and is not a dance I chose to join in.

Am I supporting Assemblyman Donnelly?  I have not given him any money or endorsed him  (or any other candidate at this point).  That may change, as we get closer to June.  Also, I am a practicing attorney and a Republican activist for limited and constitutional government.  I am not on any candidates’ payroll and I do not earn a living as a political consultant.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Munger Games: Bob Huff and Connie Conway – No Criticism of Munger For You!

Posted by OC Insider on February 28, 2013

This weekend, delegates to the California Republican Party Convention will travel to Sacramento will vote on a new Chairman, Vice Chairman and several other important CRP board positions. Since the current Chairman, Tom Del Beccaro, has announced he will not be running for re-election, former legislator Jim Brulte has stepped up to take the Chairman position in what can easily be described as the CRP’s lowest point in a generation. Senator Brulte has only drawn the token opposition of a very late entrant into that race and it appears Mr. Brulte has all but locked up the position. We wish him well in what will be a difficult job.

The real drama is surrounding the continued and expanding influence of Silicon Valley billionaire and Santa Clara County Republican Central Committee Chairman Charles Munger, Jr. As readers of this blog post know, Mr. Munger spent millions of dollars in last year’s election. Some of it was to support Proposition 32 and oppose Proposition 30. Unfortunately Prop. 32 failed and Prop. 30 passed.

Also unfortunately, Mr. Munger attempted to oust Assemblyman Allan Mansoor by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Allan’s June 2012 Republican opponent Leslie Daigle of Newport Beach. Thankfully that effort failed but Mr. Munger continued forward by spending more hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fall campaign in Republican v. Republican races. It is too bad he could not have spent even a little of that money to help Republicans in Republican v. Democrat races so that the State Senate and Assembly might not be in the complete control of Democrats for the next legislative session. The Chris Norby Assembly race comes to mind.

Recently, State Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway sent out a letter / e-mail to CRP Delegates defending Charles Munger and criticizing those who criticize Mr. Munger. It is noted that during the run up to the race between Allan Mansoor and Mr. Daigle, Mr. Huff and Ms. Conway did little or nothing to help Allan beat off this obvious challenge to a sitting Assemblyman that could have resulted in a Democrat running in the fall runoff against a non-incumbent weaker Republican Daigle for that seat. A pause here to give mega kudos to Orange County OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (and hundreds of volunteers) who pulled out all stops in support of Assemblyman Mansoor!

A web site/blog called The Munger Games, which appears to be one of the objects of Mr. Huff’s and Ms. Conway’s wrath, responded to their letter by pointing out they’re defending a man who wasted resources attacking a sitting Assemblyman while being a sitting Chairman of another county’s Republican Central Committee. The blog also pointed out that debates and criticism are important to the political process and the voters of Allan Mansoor’s district certainly expressed their views by reelecting Allan by such a wide margin that Ms. Daigle did not even make it into the “top two” runoff – the new system brought to you by Proposition 14 – again courtesy of Charles Munger, a very big supporter financially of Prop. 14.

Bottom line: The Munger Games blog site asks some very, very important and legitimate questions Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway should answer. Whether or not they agreed with Mr. Munger’s attempt to unseat a sitting Assemblyman at the risk of placing that safe Republican seat in play for the Democrats? If the resources Allan had to raise to fend off that challenge and the resources Mr. Munger used for that race and the R v. R races he spent money on in the fall could have been better spent holding onto Republican seats? Where were they during that June primary battle while Allan was fighting for his political life? Why are you attacking those who are asking these important questions? Why are you attacking those who engage in an honest debate by bringing up these issues?

This blog post writer would like to know the answers to those questions too. Senator Huff what is your response to those questions? Assemblywoman Conway?

Posted in 29th Senate District, 65th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sample Ballot: Bob Huff Not Endorsed by California Republican Party

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 8, 2012

The Orange County Registrar of Voters reports that the Republican Party issued no endorsement in the 29th State Senate District race.

This is utterly preposterous.

The only two candidates running in SD-29 are Democrat Greg Diamond and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff.

Though some people have stated that Huff is “a bit of a squish,” the fact of the matter is that political parties always endorse their party leaders for re-election.  If you don’t like the leader, you dump him from his leadership post long before you try to dump him from his legislative seat.

Regardless, I know Huff was endorsed because I saw with my own eyes that he was endorsed  on the Orange County Republican Party’s consent calendar.  Furthermore, the California Republican Party publicly announced its endorsement of Huff.

Is there much of a political implication for this error?  Probably not since SD 29 has such lopsided registration.  However, if this had happened in a seat with much closer registration numbers, this could have been really bad.

Whose fault is this error?  Clearly, this clerical error could only have happened in one of three places: CRP, OCGOP, or ROV.  This error rests with the CRP because Huff was not listed as an endorsed candidate on the LA County sample ballot either.  (The odds of two county ROVs making the same mistake are highly unlikely.)

Right now, I would not want to be the person at the California Republican Party who left the Senate Republican Leader off the endorsement list sent to the county Registrars.

(Tangential note: interestingly, the American Independent Party endorsed Huff.)

In the meantime check out the Huff endorsement error for yourself on Page 6 of your sample ballot (or see our image of that page):

Party Endorsements in the June 2012 Sample Ballot

Party Endorsements in the Orange County’s June 2012 Sample Ballot

Check out the Huff endorsement error for yourself on Page 14 of the LA County sample ballot (or see our image of that page):
Party Endorsements in the LA County Sample Ballot for June 2012

Posted in 29th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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